Introducing the

Just Wage
Initiative

Just Wage Forum 2021

Criterion 4: Wage Structure is Non-Discriminatory

A just wage is free of any taint of discrimination in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, migration status, age, and ability. Fundamentally, a just wage structure reflects equality of opportunity to all by exhibiting equal pay for equal work, fostering inclusive recruitment and promotion policies, and showcasing transparency in the promotion of genuine fairness.

What does CST say about non-discriminatory wages?

“To satisfy the demands of justice and equity, strenuous efforts must be made, without disregarding the rights of persons or the natural qualities of each country, to remove as quickly as possible the immense economic inequalities, which now exist and in many cases are growing and which are connected with individual and social discrimination.

When workers come from another country or district and contribute to the economic advancement of a nation or region by their labor, all discrimination as regards wages and working conditions must be carefully avoided. All the people, moreover, above all the public authorities, must treat them not as mere tools of production but as persons, and must help them to bring their families to live with them and to provide themselves with a decent dwelling; they must also see to it that these workers are incorporated into the social life of the country or region that receives them.”
-- Pope Paul XI, Gaudium et Spes (1965), 66

“What is meant by the word “decent” in regard to work? It means work that expresses the essential dignity of every man and woman in the context of their particular society: work that is freely chosen, effectively associating workers, both men and women, with the development of their community; work that enables the worker to be respected and free from any form of discrimination; work that makes it possible for families to meet their needs and provide schooling for their children, without the children themselves being forced into labour; work that permits the workers to organize themselves freely, and to make their voices heard; work that leaves enough room for rediscovering one's roots at a personal, familial and spiritual level; work that guarantees those who have retired a decent standard of living.”
-- Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (2009), 63

“Careful attention must be devoted to the physical and psychological working conditions of disabled people-as for all workers-to their just remuneration, to the possibility of their promotion, and to the elimination of various obstacles. Without hiding the fact that this is a complex and difficult task, it is to be hoped that a correct concept of labour in the subjective sense will produce a situation which will make it possible for disabled people to feel that they are not cut off from the working world or dependent upon society, but that they are full-scale subjects of work, useful, respected for their human dignity and called to contribute to the progress and welfare of their families and of the community according to their particular capacities.”
-- Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens (1981), 22

“The feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, therefore the presence of women in the workplace must also be guaranteed. The first indispensable step in this direction is the concrete possibility of access to professional formation. The recognition and defence of women's rights in the context of work generally depend on the organization of work, which must take into account the dignity and vocation of women, whose “true advancement ... requires that labour should be structured in such a way that women do not have to pay for their advancement by abandoning what is specific to them”.[636] This issue is the measure of the quality of society and its effective defence of women's right to work. / The persistence of many forms of discrimination offensive to the dignity and vocation of women in the area of work is due to a long series of conditioning that penalizes women, who have seen “their prerogatives misrepresented” and themselves “relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude”.[637] These difficulties, unfortunately, have not been overcome, as is demonstrated wherever there are situations that demoralize women, making them objects of a very real exploitation. An urgent need to recognize effectively the rights of women in the workplace is seen especially under the aspects of pay, insurance and social security.”
-- Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004), 295

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Virtues and Vocations presents Mary Gentile: Giving Voice to Values
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Catholic Social Tradition Minor Open House & Info Session
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